Sushi Caterer Moving to New Grand Rapids Production Facility After Growth Outpaces Expectations
Posted on May 21, 2019 by Downtown Market
Anu Sushi is already moving out of the Grand Rapids Downtown Market Incubator Kitchen. The seven-month old company is the fifth graduate of the Market’s kitchen designed to launch startup food businesses, and its fastest “graduate” ever—going from startup to “grown up” in seven months. Anu Sushi will move into a new production facility of its own on the south of Grand Rapids next month to accommodate their increasing volume of orders.
Anu Sushi is sushi with a purpose. For every tray of takeout sushi sold by the caterer, one meal is donated to an orphaned child in Myanmar. The company also offers opportunity to immigrants in Grand Rapids, providing jobs to those who need them.
Anu Sushi was founded by Bawi Sung, known by family and friends as Anu. The company currently employs 10 full-time staff and is expanding to meet production needs. Currently, Anu’s team of sushi chefs start work in the Incubator Kitchen between 1-2 a.m., depending on how many orders they will fill that day. By 9 a.m. all of the prepared sushi is out for delivery to local colleges, corporations and hospitals for arrival before lunchtime.
“Quality is our most important consideration, and we take pride in the fact that we make restaurant quality sushi with the convenience of grab-and-go packaging,” said Anu. “When people purchase our sushi, they know it’s never more than a day old. Anything left at the end of the day gets pulled from the shelves to start fresh the next day.”
As a child growing up in Myanmar, Anu was orphaned at age five. She lived in an orphanage until her teen years, when she fled her country to escape ethnic persecution. After years of struggle, she made it to the U.S., where she was able to attend school for the first time and secured a job in her cousin’s sushi shop. This gave her the idea for a future business - a sushi company that gives back.
Currently, Anu Sushi is working with companies and colleges including Aquinas College, Davenport University, Calvin College, Spectrum Health, LG Chem, Yanfeng, Stryker, Wolverine Worldwide and more. Anu Sushi makes about 2,000 boxes of sushi per week, and this number is growing each day. They have about 40 different varieties of sushi rolls and appetizers, and are constantly updating their menu to provide their customers with new and interesting varieties, based on past sales and new trends in the food industry.
“We try to bring creativity to our customers, and also help them analyze what’s selling, order numbers for the next week and what else might sell well with their demographic, which ranges among our customers from college students to all different types of working professionals,” said Anu.
In their first seven months, the company donated more than 50,000 meals to orphans in Burma. They are currently supporting one orphanage, but are connected to a few others and hope to support several more soon.
“We are so grateful to the Downtown Market and their help to build our business. We had no idea we’d grow this quickly,” said Anu. “The Incubator Kitchen is easy to access and was perfect to start a business, as it allowed us to experiment and ask for help along the way, as well as provided key connections we wouldn’t have had otherwise.”
Businesses interested in space to start their food business or business startup support can learn more about the Incubator Kitchen at http://downtownmarketgr.com/incubator-kitchen.